William H. Dodge - A mystery Dodge line
Death of Old Riverman
William H. Dodge
One of Catskills oldest residents, died on Sunday at his home on North Street. William H. Dodge, born March 1, 1831, was the son of Isaac & Eunice Dodge. At the age of fourteen, he became cabin boy on the scoop Catskill, commanded by his uncle, Alanson Dodge.
In 1847 William left the sloop Catskill and served as deckhand on the Utica during 1850. Mr. Dodge left the Utica for the Thomas Powell where for four years he acted as fireman. During the spring of 1855, William Dodge was made Second Engineer and in 1859, First Engineer. In 1861, the Thomas Powell was chartered by the United States and sailed in southern waters, transporting troops "for the duration", more than once having President Lincoln aboard as a passenger.
In 1868 the Thomas Powell was sold and William Dodge continued to act as chief engineer until 1872. For four years he held the office of Boiler Inspector for the 14th Congressional District under an appointment of Governor John T. Hoffman, and in 1878 became chief engineer of the Ogden Mills Elevator Company in Jersey City, New Jersey, so continuing until 1899. Then failing sight compelled him to resign his position and he returned to his native town, where gradually he became totally blind and with manly resignation waited for his release. His wife Delia C. Eckler Dodge attended and ministered to him to the last, as their two daughters, Emma and Lillie, had long ago preceded their father to the end of life's journey. The passing of this Mr. Dodge marks the close of an epoch: the great days of the river travel, before electricity's development set many rival forces at work. The river men of the last century were custodians of much interesting and valuable information, for they had known varied lives of usefulness and profit to the public which they served.